President Obama vowed Wednesday to take action to reduce gun violence in the United States, less than one week after the horrific elementary school shooting claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.
Obama has asked Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force to create new gun control recommendations. Obama plans to send Congress new policy proposals for reducing gun violence by January.
The task force will also include some members of the Cabinet, some members of Congress, outside groups, and lawmakers.
"If those of us that were sent here to serve the public trust can summon even one tiny iota of the courage those teachers, that principal in Newtown summoned on Friday, if cooperation and common sense prevail, then I'm convinced we can make a sensible, intelligent way to make the United States of America a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow," Obama said Wednesday.
The president said the task force will reach out to gun owners, parents, mental health professionals, and pastors to get ideas and to pass the legislation, once they come up with a plan.
Obama also called on Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and to pass laws that clamp down on gun sales made without background checks.
"The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing," Obama said. "The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence."
Obama also urged finding ways to improve mental health resources and to create a culture that doesn't promote violence.